More Than a List: How a Children’s Book List Can Be a Walk Down Memory Lane

More Than a List: How a Children’s Book List Can Be a Walk Down Memory Lane

We all have our favourite children’s books – those we loved as youngsters and those we have shared with our own children. What’s your favourite children’s book, the one embedded in your heart for all time?

Booklovers and booklists go hand-in-hand. There is great pleasure in working your way through a list, acknowledging the books you’ve read, and the memories they bring up – where you read each book, who was there, how you felt. Then you choose what other books you’d like to read from the list, because it’s more than a list… it’s an inspiring portal of possibilities.

This year, the Better Reading Top 100 has been more popular than ever, and now with the launch of voting for the Top 50 Kids’ Books, we’re excited to see what titles you, our Better Reading community nominates.

Our 2018 list was a fantastic range of classics, such as Charlotte’s Web and Anne of Green Gables, to modern bestsellers such as Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and Peter Helliar’s Frankie Fish.

For me, last year’s list is a poignant trip through time, from my own childhood, to raising my sons… to the titles I haven’t read… or more than that, haven’t experienced because my sons are now young adults.

As a child, The Magic Faraway Tree sparked my imagination more than any other book. I must’ve read it one hundred times. But there were so many more… many on the Top 50. The Secret Garden reminds me of how I’d spend hours in my grandmother’s garden re-creating this childhood favourite. Playing Beatie Bow both disturbed me and triggered a fascination with Sydney’s early colonial history. The Cat in the Hat, and in fact all Dr Seuss titles, remind me of my brother, who unlike me wasn’t a big reader, but adored these wonderful books.  And has there ever been a better opening of any book for children, than in Seven Little Australians?

BEFORE you fairly start this story, I

should like to give you just a word of

warning.

 If you imagine you are going to read of

model children, with perhaps a naughtily-

inclined one to point a moral, you had better

lay down the book immediately and betake

yourself to Sandford and Merlon, or similar

standard juvenile works. Not one of the

seven is really good, for the very excellent

reason that Australian children never are.

In my young mind, that opening confirmed that I was normal and Australian.

Next up are the titles my children loved. I had more time with my firstborn to persist with the classics. Winnie the Pooh, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie… Anything by Roald Dahl. I see Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and remember the trip I took with my son to her home town of Concord, Massachusetts, and the time he went trick or treating in New York dressed as Peter Pan, holding his copy of the book.

And then son number two, with his reluctance to read, which was later found to be dyslexia. He still loved books, only his were few and far between. Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the audio book of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. These firm favourites were read over and over, because he could understand them.

Looking over last year’s list is like taking a walk down memory lane. It’s the passing of time on one Top 50 kids’ book list.

What are your favourite books? What book are you voting for? Make sure you add your vote… and in the meantime… I’ll just grab a tissue and get ready to look at the new list.

Related Articles

It's About the Brain: Why Do We Still Bother With Books… When There’s So Much Online?

News | Book Life

7 April 2020

It's About the Brain: Why Do We Still Bother With Books… When There’s So Much Online?

    Guilty Secrets: What I Found On my Friend's Bedside Table

    News | Book Life

    31 March 2020

    Guilty Secrets: What I Found On my Friend's Bedside Table

      Books That Were Banned, Burned & Challenged: Some Will Surprise You!

      News | Book Life

      23 March 2020

      Books That Were Banned, Burned & Challenged: Some Will Surprise You!

        I’m Embarrassed to Admit: The Books You Start, a Few Times, but Never Finish

        News | Book Life

        10 March 2020

        I’m Embarrassed to Admit: The Books You Start, a Few Times, but Never Finish

          At the Gym, in the Park, in the Bath... Where Do You Read?

          News | Book Life

          27 February 2020

          At the Gym, in the Park, in the Bath... Where Do You Read?

            A One of a Kind Bookshop: Books From a Bygone Era at Love Vintage Books

            News

            18 February 2020

            A One of a Kind Bookshop: Books From a Bygone Era at Love Vintage Books

              Gwyneth Paltrow Hired a Book Curator. Would you?

              News | Book Life

              12 February 2020

              Gwyneth Paltrow Hired a Book Curator. Would you?

                Writing and Drinking: Seven Legendary Literary Bars

                News | Book Life

                5 February 2020

                Writing and Drinking: Seven Legendary Literary Bars

                  Bookstores with Catchy, Cool and Quirky Names

                  News | Book Life

                  29 January 2020

                  Bookstores with Catchy, Cool and Quirky Names

                    This is Our 5th Top 100... Here are the Previous Four Lists

                    News | Awards

                    28 January 2020

                    This is Our 5th Top 100... Here are the Previous Four Lists

                      COMMENTS

                      Leave a Reply

                      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

                      1. Jan Dickie says:

                        Wish for a Pony, The Cub and the Billabong books.
                        Muddleheaded Wombat, Faraway tree.

                      2. Merrilie Rowley says:

                        The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge and Gobbolino The Witches Cat – Ursula Moray Williams